Serie A - Football: Season preview
Juventus, Inter Milan and reigning champions AC Milan have dominated Serie A for two decades, but there are grounds for thinking Italian football's holy trinity might have more competition in 2022-23.
You have to go all the way back to 2001 for the last time anyone other than the Milan powers or Juve won the Italian title, when Fabio Capello's Roma ruled the roost for one year only.
You have to go all the way back to 1991 for the last time a club not from Rome, Milan or Turin entered the winner's enclosure - Sampdoria, under the late Vujadin Boskov took the spoils that year.
So it's no surprise that Inter, Juve and Milan are the three market leaders going into the 2022-23 campaign, which will break from 13th November to 4th January because of the World Cup, something of a tough watch this year for Italians whose beloved Azzurri won't be there.
Serie A 2022-23
13th August 2022 - 4th June 2023
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Dusan the man if Juve to mount challenge
It wasn't long ago that Juventus owned Serie A. Nine times in a row the Old Lady won the league, five of them under the stewardship of Massimiliano Allegri.
But dynasties end and Juve's did rather tamely, with a pair of remote fourth-placed finishes over the past two seasons and a lethargic look to a side which needs inspiration from somewhere if they are to break the Milanese title stranglehold.
And that means hopes pinned on Dusan Vahovic sparking into life, something he has done only fleetingly since his mid-winter £80m switch from Fiorentina.
He had scored 17 in the first half of last season for La Viola, just seven in the second half for Juve, but the Serbian - 4.33 to win the Golden Boot - has the talent and just needs the service,
His partnership with Federico Chiesa will be critical, though the winger is still out for a few more months through injury, meaning all eyes will be on the creative juices of Paul Pogba and, maybe, Angel Di Maria if Vlahovic and Juve are to flourish.
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Which Milan club means business?
There was nothing between the two Milan giants last term. Inter seemingly had the title in their control and won eight of their last nine matches, but it was the one loss - 2-1 at Bologna - which proved decisive because the Rossoneri simply didn't flinch.
Cynics claim that Milan got up because the season had been an unremarkable one, harsh perhaps, though those same critics would also suggest Stefano Pioli's side are plenty short enough to retain the title.
Franck Kessie's departure has to weaken them, while relying on the likes of 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic (when fit), Olivier Giroud and Divock Origi for goals if Rafael Leao goes cold is a recipe for under-achievement.
Finances at Inter are a soap opera in themselves, but most Inter fans are simply delighted that Simone Inzaghi has managed to reunite Romelu Lukaku with Lautaro Martinez - two players who combined for 41 goals in their title-winning season.
The Belgian is 4.00 to land top scorer honours with Martinez at 10.00.
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Roma look ready to rock
Roma finished sixth last year, seven points adrift of a Champions League place, but that doesn't tell even half the story.
This is a club on the up under the inimitable Jose Mourinho, who guided them to Conference League glory in May and who has brought positivity back to the Stadio Olimpico.
And with that positivity come players of the calibre of Paulo Dybala and Gini Wijnaldum, who will only improve a group which already includes Tammy Abraham, who enjoyed a simply stunning first year in Italy with 27 goals across all competitions.
Roma are 13.00 shots and if it is another less-than-vintage Serie A campaign then they look genuine contenders.
Then again, if the standards aren't sky-high, at what point do you start to consider the supremely consistent Atalanta, for example, who are 1.90 to finish in the top four.
With Napoli on a rebuild and one or two questions about each of the big three, it wouldn't take an enormous leap of faith to presume the men from Bergamo could gatecrash the top four, something they have done four times in the last six campaigns.
Berlusconi's back at the top
Media tycoon and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is back in Serie A and back doing what he does best, investing fortunes in a club, this time Monza.
It's probably why the newly-promoted club are best left alone at 2.50 to be relegated.
Empoli at 2.75 are another to avoid, if only because when the Tuscan club blew hot last year they blew seriously hot and ended up with an away record which was the envy of the rest of the bottom eight.
Salernitana got lucky at the end of last term as they embarked on a great escape, but it's hard to see Davide Nicola's charges avoiding the grips of the relegation places this time round - they are 2.62 to go down.